Social News 10/3
Vietnam and gender equality
With major achievements in gender equality, Vietnam has been considered by the UN a highlight in implementing Millennium Development Goals.
Vietnam adopted the Law on Gender Equality in 2006 and has issued a national strategy on gender equality until 2020 to improve public awareness, close the gender gap, heighten women’s status, protect women’s rights, and fight discrimination against women.
Vietnam accomplished the Millennium Development Goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women ahead of schedule, becoming one of the countries with the fastest pace in eliminating the gender gap over the past 20 years.
Women make up half of Vietnam’s population and workforce. With nearly 27% of National Assembly deputies being women, Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest proportion of female parliamentarians.
Women hold some major positions in the Party and State leadership, including Politburo members and National Assembly Chair. The number of female ethnic entrepreneurs is on the rise, particularly in healthcare and education.
Vietnam’s human rights report shows that the national strategy on gender equality has focused on regions experiencing gender inequality or prone to gender inequality. This has reduced domestic violence and the trafficking of women and and created conditions for women to improve themselves.
Vietnam aims to increase the percentage of ethnic women holding high-level posts, improve the living conditions and skills of ethnic women, and enhance international cooperation to bridge the gender gap, particularly among vulnerable groups and in strategic areas like education, healthcare and employment.
Bac Lieu hoped to increase ties with Lao localities
Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou has called on the southern province of Bac Lieu and Lao localities to increase experience exchanges to address socio-economic issues.
The top Lao legislator expressed her wish at a meeting with Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Le Minh Khai in Bac Lieu on March 9.
Laos is a close friend of Vietnam and Bac Lieu in particular, she said, hoping that the two sides will enhance sharing their know-how to improve the operational efficiency of the People’s Councils at all levels as well as cope with natural disasters and climate change.
Khai told the guest about the local socio-economic situation and revealed that the province is mapping out a roadmap to develop a hi-tech shrimp breeding centre nationwide.
However, there are some difficulties in socio-economic development such as poor transport, irrigation and electricity infrastructure, and adverse impacts of climate changes like rising sea level and saltwater intrusion.
The two sides discussed elective agencies’ management, along with measures to improve the quality of meetings with constituents.
They also talked effective models in poverty reduction, new-style rural building, climate change adaptation, and environmental pollution settlement, in addition to ensuring national defence and security, and preventing and combating crimes.
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong said the ongoing visit by the Lao top legislator marks a new and significant development in the close-knit relations between the two countries.
The same day, Chairwoman Pany Yathotou visited the wind power plant project in Vinh Trach Dong commune, Bac Lieu city, which has completed two phases with 62 turbines having a combined capacity of 99.2 MW at a total cost of 5.2 trillion VND (228 million USD).
Village demonstrates solidarity of Vietnamese, Lao youths
The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union (LPRYU) on March 9 handed over the Vietnam-Laos border friendship youth village project to Khamkeut district in the Lao central province of Bolikhamsai.
Addressing the hand-over ceremony, First Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee Le Quoc Phong said the village is a symbol of the bilateral cooperation between the two youth organisations. It will provide a place for young people to settle down and serve as a key force in social-economic development and national defence and security in the border area.
The project also aims to provide a model for new residential areas with sustainable development and transfer modern technologies in agro-forestry production for young people, he added.
He hoped the Lao side will manage the village effectively and continue to build new production models to spur local socio-economic growth while strengthening the solidarity, friendship, and comprehensive collaboration between the two nations’ youngsters.
Secretary of the LPRYU Central Committee Sonethanou Thammavong expressed his deep gratitude to the Vietnamese Party, State and people, particularly the HCYU, for supporting Laos in any circumstances.
The project is expected to help Lao farmers change their mindset in cultivation and animal husbandry, thus improving their living standards, he said.
The village is not only a symbol of the two countries’ cooperation but also promotes the traditional solidarity between the two peoples, especially among youngsters.
Right after the signing and hand-over ceremony, the two youth unions prevented gift packages to a dozen of households living in the village, which covers 1,034 hectares in Khamkeut district.
Both sides also coordinated to provide free health check-ups and medicines for 300 local residents.
Vietnam worker assistance programme launched
This year’s Assistance Programme for Workers has been launched to provide free employment information for people who are seeking jobs in HCM City and other provinces, including Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Tien Giang, Dak Nong and Can Tho city.
The programme, which is carried out by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, traditionally lasts from after the Tet holiday until the end of the year.
In the programme, workers also are provided occupational counselling in addition introductions to companies looking for workers, said Nguyen Quang Cuong, director of the Youth Employment Service Centre of HCM City, which is a part of the youth union.
Workers can come to booths at bus terminals in the city or the centre to be introduced to possible jobs, Cuong said.
One difference in this year’s programme is that the centre is co-operating with nine other employment service centres in Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Can Tho, Tien Giang, Phu Yen and Dak Nong provinces to exchange employment information.
Local people of these provinces who want to seek jobs in other localities can go to local employment service centres to get information and be provided counselling as well as introductions directly to enterprises for applications and interviews.
The co-operation will help reduce the risk of being cheated through illegal employment service providers, he added.
During the launching ceremony on Saturday, a job fair also was organised to connect employees and employers.
More than 70 companies attended the job fair, seeking to fill 10,000 job positions. These firms are in fields of plastic manufacturing, consultancy, transportation and others.
The needed positions are accountants, traders, graphic designers, electronic or mechanic engineers and others.
Binh Minh Plastic Joint Stock Company, for instance, is seeking to recruit chemical, electronic, electric or mechanic engineers, traders, accountants, statistician and manual workers for manufacturing in HCM City, Binh Duong province and Long An province.
Provincial centres provided buses for local people seeking jobs to attend the fair.
Le Ngoc Bao Ngan of Can Tho College said that she came to the fair to speak to a job counselor.
“I will graduate in June. I have applied to many enterprises in Can Tho. Today, I came to the fair to seek more opportunities,” Ngan said.
Nguyen Thi Hoang Lan, 24, who recently graduated from HCM City Open University, said that the fair provided opportunities to meet with many companies.
Vuong Hoang Phong, 36, of HCM City’s District 8, spent around eight months seeking a manual job because he only finished 12th grade.
“After reading information about the fair in the newspaper, I came to the fair and hope to get a job,” Phong said.
The Assistance Programme for Workers started six years ago, attracting 14,762 enterprises with more than 135,980 recruitment positions in many fields.
The programme has provided employment counseling and introductions for more than 49,210 people. Of them, more than 25 percent have gotten interviews or jobs.
HCM City drama troupe celebrates 5th birthday
Students of the Ví Dầu Drama Troupe are preparing to stage new shows to celebrate the troupe’s fifth anniversary.
The artists will stage Bà Mẹ Đảm Và Bầy Con (Mother and Children), a tragicomedy adapted from a popular German literary work written in the 1950s.
The 60-minute play is directed by Thái Kim Tùng, head of the troupe, who works as a lecturer at the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography.
A series of three-act plays on love, family and social issues, such as Tình Yêu Muôn Màu (Colours of Love) and Yêu Không Dễ (Love Is Not A Game), will also be featured.
"Our troupe was first composed of only three members, but it now has 30 young actors from the city’s drama clubs and art schools,” said Tùng, one of the city’s young theatre talents.
"This troupe gives young actors the opportunity to develop their talent, knowledge and techniques used in emotional expression while still at school," he said.
Tùng said that his staff had staged 15 serious plays in the hope that the troupe would become a place for young people to enjoy the art in a different way.
”We bring our audiences closer to the art,” he said.
The troupe’s shows will be staged every Saturday and Sunday, from March 10 to April 15, at 8pm at 9 Thái Văn Lung St in District 1. Tickets are available at the box office.
Operations suspended at Hà Nội clinic after incident
The Hà Nội’s Department of Health on Wednesday suspended operations of clinic 168 Hà Nội until further investigations, after a pregnant woman admitted there was rushed to Bạch Mai Hospital in coma.
The incident took place last Sunday at the general clinic located in Thanh Trì District. The 29-year-old pregnant woman, who hails from northern Quảng Ninh Province, was being treated at the clinic for vaginitis when she was believed to have slipped into coma with dead brain.
The clinic, located on Ngọc Hồi Road, started operations in 2012 and has registered that it has two Chinese doctors, Dr Zheng Zu Rong and Dr Liu Chun Ming, both of whom have professional licences from the Ministry of Health.
Nguyễn Dương Trung, deputy chief of the health department’s inspectorate, said that 52-year-old Rong was handling the case. He received his professional licence for specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology in 2013.
This is not the first time that the clinic has been in trouble. It has been penalised regularly over the years, and in 2016 alone, it committed three violations. In September 2015, Rong had his professional licence suspended for nine months for selling medicine after a health check-up.
At the time of inspection on Tuesday, Rong was not at the clinic.
Barge capsize kills two in Quang Ninh
Two people died in northern Quảng Ninh Province after a barge sank on Wednesday early morning.
The accident occurred when the barge, belonging to Hạ Long Transport Company, was moving from Nét island to the shore, around a port in Quang Hanh Ward, Cẩm Phả City.
Four people were on board at the time. Two people on the barge’s upper part fortunately managed to escape; however, two others in the barge hold -- Ngô Quang Hiệp, 34, from Quảng Ninh Province and Nguyễn Văn Hoàng, 20, from northern Hải Dương Province -- died.
According to the survivors, the barge capsized due to a midnight whirlwind. There was no loss of property.
The barge was pulled to the shore the same morning.
The accident is under investigation.
Thanh Hóa offers extra allowance to medical lecturers
Thanh Hòa Province People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đình Xứng has decided to offer extra allowances to attract medical lecturers to a branch of Hà Nội Medical University.
The university’s staff and lecturers working at the branch for several years could receive an extra allowance of VNĐ6 million (US$263) monthly besides their salary.
Lecturers from the headquarters of the Hà Nội Medical University or those working at both the university and major central hospitals would have their travelling cost, accommodation and other daily expenses covered by the Thanh Hóa branch whenever they are invited to lecture there.
They will also receive additional VNĐ120,000 ($5.3) for a theory class and VNĐ80,000 for a practice class.
Male professors under 60 years old and female professors under 55 could get allowance up to VNĐ1 billion ($43,860) if they commit to work for the branch for at least 10 years. The allowance would be paid once as a lump sum or several times in installments depending upon the recipient.
Similarly, associate professors – under 57 years old for men and under 52 for women – will receive allowance of VNĐ600 million.
Those with PhD degree – under 55 years old for men and under 50 for women – will receive allowance of VNĐ400 million.
Those completing the residency doctor training programme at the Hà Nội Medical University would get allowance of VNĐ300 million if they commit to work at the Thanh Hóa branch for at least 10 years.
Those having a masters degree granted by the Hà Nội Medical University would get allowance of VNĐ200 million.
In addition, Thanh Hóa Province will sponsor all training costs and daily expenses for students who attend residency doctor training programmes and commit to work for the Thanh Hóa branch for at least 10 years.
The allowance programme is scheduled to take place from 2017 to 2021.
The Thanh Hóa-based branch of Hà Nội Medical University was established in 2014.
Construction of Đuống river water plant begins
Work on the construction of the Đuống river surface water plant started on Thursday in Phù Đổng Commune in Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District.
Located on nearly 62 hectares, the plant will be developed in three phases. The first phase, which will cost around VNĐ5 trillion (US$225 million) and have the capacity for 300,000cu.m per day, is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Hà Nội People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung said the project would play an important role in providing a sustainable supply of clean water to the capital city.
“Upon completion, the plant will supply clean water to three million people in 168 wards and communes across eight districts in Hà Nội; to residential and industrial zones along Road 179; and the neighbouring provinces of Bắc Ninh and Hưng Yên,” Chung said.
Chung also asked local authorities, Đuống River Surface Water Plant JSC’s project management board, investors and contractors to ensure that the project process, quality, labour and environmental safety are not compromised and that every effort must be made to start the plant’s test runs by the second quarter of 2018.
“This is a key national project. It will meet the city’s demand for clean water and contribute towards speeding up urbanisation in Hà Nội and its neighbouring provinces,” said Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, chairman of Đuống River Surface Water Plant JSC. “The project will help improve the local people’s quality of life by reducing diseases caused by polluted water and environment.”
The plant’s capacity will reach 600,000cu.m per day by 2030 and 900,000cu.m per day by 2050.
Its clean-water piping system is the longest and most intricate in the country, running 76km long with two river-crossing sections over Hồng and Đuống rivers, and various sections running through railways, national and provincial roads.
At the ceremony, the company donated VNĐ12 billion ($526,000) to Gia Lâm District’s Social Welfare Fund for charity constructions for needy people in Phù Đổng and Trung Mầu communes.
Mass food poisoning in Tiền Giang
Some 70 textile workers were hospitalised at the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang’s Cai Lậy General Hospital on Wednesday for allegedly food poisoning.
The patients from the Eco Tank Garment Co., Ltd in Cai Lậy Town were reported to have symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea and breathlessness, as well as weakness in their legs and arms.
The symptoms appeared after they had a lunch consisting of tomato soup, chicken cooked in sauce and fried green beans at the company.
The poisoning was not fatal, Nguyễn Văn Ngưu, director of the hospital, said. Some patients were released the same day, while others continued to receive treatment at the hospital.
The cause of the poisoning is unclear.
The Tiền Giang Food Hygiene and Safety (under the province’s Department of Health) has taken samples of the food that the workers consumed for examination.
Man sells trees meant for local cemetery
A tree trader in central Quảng Trị Province has alledgedly committed fraud by selling huge trees meant for the local cemetery to residents of the neighbouring province.
Lê Quang Thuận, deputy chairman of the province’s mountainous Hướng Hóa District, said the district People’s Committee has stopped the tree donation scheme, which was being managed by local tree trader Bùi Ta Boong.
In February, Boong had proposed a tree donation programme for the district’s cemetery for war martyrs in order to create shade for visitors. The scheme was approved by the committee.
Under the programme, Boong was supposed to buy 10 perennial jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) and bishop wood (Bischofia javanica) trees from four communes in the district and replanted them in the cemetery. These were all huge trees grown in public places in the communes, much larger than other trees of the same species.
Forest rangers from the local division supervised the removal and transport of these trees from their original habitats to the cemetery. Võ Văn Sử, the division head, said eight of the 10 trees had arrived at the cemetery under close supervision.
Later, people living in the area noticed Boong and his crew taking some of these huge trees away from the cemetery. Boong was replacing and replanting smaller trees of the same species in the cemetery.
Last Saturday, local forest rangers stopped Boong and his crew while they were transporting four of the trees.
Boong admitted to Lao Động newspaper’s reporters on Tuesday that he was selling the giant trees in the neighbouring Quảng Bình Province and that he had already sold two trees.
For a decade now, these giant trees, especially bishop wood, have been very popular among owners of villas around the country, who want them planted on their properties. Some of the trees fetch up to VNĐ100 million (US$4,400) each.
Although Jarul and weeping fig trees are more common, some giant trees could fetch the same price.
Boong is a tree trader and is known to have a reputation for buying cheap trees from local ethnic minority households and selling them at a high cost in Hà Nội.
Major flyover in Hà Nội opens to public
A flyover built across the Cổ Linh-Vĩnh Tuy Bridge intersection in the capital’s Long Biên District opened to public on Thursday morning.
The VNĐ161 billion (US$7 million) flyover is 211 metres long, 12 metres wide and has two lanes. It is a combination of steel frame and reinforced concrete box-shaped wall structures.
This is one of the eight major constructions in the city which the Prime Minister has approved the use of a direct contract system instead of sub-contracting.
The construction of the flyover was a smooth process. It went on for seven months and has met its deadline, said Phạm Hoàng Tuấn, director of the project’s management board, at the inauguration ceremony.
Deputy Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Thế Hùng appreciated the efforts of the contractors and the construction units in completing the work on time.
The flyover is expected to ease traffic at the Cổ Linh-Vĩnh Tuy Bridge intersection.
Fire rips through market in Dong Nai, no one hurt
Parts of a well-known market in the province of Dong Nai burned to the ground on March 9, fire officials have reported.
It started around 11:30am at the Tan Bien Market in the city of Bien Hoa. When firefighters arrived, they immediately called for backup.
It took two fire crews about 45 minutes to get it under control, but not before it burned seven kiosks all the way to the ground.
It was not the scene venders wanted to see on their way in to work.
As devastating as the fire was, vendors said they were grateful to the firefighters for saving the rest of the market.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.